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Lucy Alling makes a living selling rare books, often taking suspicious measures to reach her goals. When her unorthodox methods are discovered, Lucy's secret ruins her relationship with her boss and her boyfriend James—leaving Lucy in a heap of hurt, and trouble. Something has to change; she has to change. In a sudden turn of events, James's wealthy grandmother Helen hires Lucy Alling makes a living selling rare books, often taking suspicious measures to reach her goals. When her unorthodox methods are discovered, Lucy's secret ruins her relationship with her boss and her boyfriend James—leaving Lucy in a heap of hurt, and trouble. Something has to change; she has to change. In a sudden turn of events, James's wealthy grandmother Helen hires Lucy as a consultant for a London literary and antiques excursion. Lucy reluctantly agrees and soon discovers Helen holds secrets of her own. In fact, Helen understands Lucy's predicament better than anyone else. As the two travel across England, Lucy benefits from Helen's wisdom, as Helen confronts the ghosts of her own past. Everything comes to a head at Haworth, home of the Brontë sisters, where Lucy is reminded of the sisters' beloved heroines, who, with tenacity and resolution, endured—even in the midst of change. Now Lucy must go back into her past in order to move forward. And while it may hold mistakes and regrets, she will prevail—if only she can step into the life that's been waiting for her all along.


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Lucy Alling makes a living selling rare books, often taking suspicious measures to reach her goals. When her unorthodox methods are discovered, Lucy's secret ruins her relationship with her boss and her boyfriend James—leaving Lucy in a heap of hurt, and trouble. Something has to change; she has to change. In a sudden turn of events, James's wealthy grandmother Helen hires Lucy Alling makes a living selling rare books, often taking suspicious measures to reach her goals. When her unorthodox methods are discovered, Lucy's secret ruins her relationship with her boss and her boyfriend James—leaving Lucy in a heap of hurt, and trouble. Something has to change; she has to change. In a sudden turn of events, James's wealthy grandmother Helen hires Lucy as a consultant for a London literary and antiques excursion. Lucy reluctantly agrees and soon discovers Helen holds secrets of her own. In fact, Helen understands Lucy's predicament better than anyone else. As the two travel across England, Lucy benefits from Helen's wisdom, as Helen confronts the ghosts of her own past. Everything comes to a head at Haworth, home of the Brontë sisters, where Lucy is reminded of the sisters' beloved heroines, who, with tenacity and resolution, endured—even in the midst of change. Now Lucy must go back into her past in order to move forward. And while it may hold mistakes and regrets, she will prevail—if only she can step into the life that's been waiting for her all along.

30 review for The Brontë Plot

  1. 4 out of 5

    Elyse Walters

    I spent extra time reading about "The Bronte Family and the Sisters", online because I kept feeling as if I needed a better overview of them. If I had read other books - other biographies - I think I might have enjoyed this book more.... ( I did learn more from my online search), so I have this book to offer up 'thanks'... but I kept trying to get into this book, ( I stayed with it...highlighting as I read...but it's just not a style I enjoy ....( it's my fault ... not the author). I didn't reali I spent extra time reading about "The Bronte Family and the Sisters", online because I kept feeling as if I needed a better overview of them. If I had read other books - other biographies - I think I might have enjoyed this book more.... ( I did learn more from my online search), so I have this book to offer up 'thanks'... but I kept trying to get into this book, ( I stayed with it...highlighting as I read...but it's just not a style I enjoy ....( it's my fault ... not the author). I didn't realize there would be a religious Christian aspect to this novel: not favorite reads for me. Also, Lucy's character wasn't inspiring - or strong - or interesting enough for most of the novel. We see growth in Lucy ... so the storytelling improves towards the end... feels more emotionally genuine ....but 'my mistake'... This wasn't the best choice pick for me. There are many other wonderful reviews ... please read them ...( as many readers love this book)!! Thank you to Thomas Nelson Fiction, Netgalley, and Katerine Reay ( wishing her much Joy and success with her books)... as clearly she is an author that many others will enjoy very much.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Katherine Reay

    Finally got around to reading it... I liked Helen best. :)

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jamie

    “I mean that reading forms your opinions, your worldview, especially childhood reading, and anything that does that has an impact. So call them friends, call some stories enemies if you want, but don’t deny their influence.” This quote is one of many I absolutely loved from this novel and shows just how perfect this book is for readers who love books and understand that books are more than just words on paper. And once again Katherine Reay has released a book I will love over and over again. As I “I mean that reading forms your opinions, your worldview, especially childhood reading, and anything that does that has an impact. So call them friends, call some stories enemies if you want, but don’t deny their influence.” This quote is one of many I absolutely loved from this novel and shows just how perfect this book is for readers who love books and understand that books are more than just words on paper. And once again Katherine Reay has released a book I will love over and over again. As I said, this is a book for book lovers – it felt like I could sit with Helen or Lucy and chat for hours about our favorite Austen scenes or movie remakes of Jane Eyre. This story and journey understands me. You know those types of books? Not only for book lovers, but this is a story about journeys, and not just Lucy’s. “Hope is a hard thing to share.” It’s a journey of discovery (with a lovely nod to another C.S. Lewis classic) and the people you meet along the way. I really liked Lucy and James. I also loved Helen, Dillion, Bette, and Sid. So yeah, pretty much the entire supporting cast. Have I mentioned her awesome use of classic literature quotes? Even when they were from a book I haven’t read, I loved it. Life is an incredible journey and this book helped me to appreciate that again. This book is one in which you feel, not only for the characters, but your own life. “Don’t hang on to the past so tightly you taint the future.” And as she does so so brilliantly, classic literature references make this novel even more delightful. Now I desperately need to go on an English literary tour and read (or re-read) all the classics. This is yet another amazing winning novel from Katherine and y’all need to go buy it :). Is there a book about books you love? With Courage to Endure (Thank you to NetGalley for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review) Originally posted at: http://booksandbeverages.org/2015/11/...

  4. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    I completely neglected to post any thoughts on this! Quickie review it is! Although I didn't enjoy this one as much as Dear Mr. Knightley or Lizzy and Jane, like those two books, The Bronte Plot has a very readable, compelling quality to it. This story focuses more on the physical and emotional journey of Lucy and the romance takes a bit of a back seat. Though at the beginning, I felt a bit thrown off by the jump in time, once I settled back in, I sped along easily. The ending is realistic, in my I completely neglected to post any thoughts on this! Quickie review it is! Although I didn't enjoy this one as much as Dear Mr. Knightley or Lizzy and Jane, like those two books, The Bronte Plot has a very readable, compelling quality to it. This story focuses more on the physical and emotional journey of Lucy and the romance takes a bit of a back seat. Though at the beginning, I felt a bit thrown off by the jump in time, once I settled back in, I sped along easily. The ending is realistic, in my opinion, and happy without being cheesy, which is my favorite kind of ending. There are so many delicious references to great works of literature and authors - probably more so in this book than her other two. Though I can't say I am a huge reader of classics (I'm trying to make up for it now), I was an English major, so it was fun going along with Lucy as she went to the places that many of these author's lived and sometimes struggled through life. Lucy works relates many things back to literature and books, so it really fit her character. The people she meets on her travels were such dear secondary characters that added so much to the story. Katherine really has a way of showing character emotion through what they say (or don't say) and how they act. I loved all of their interactions and was happy to see Lucy pull through and regain their trust.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Angie

    The Bronte plot was a bit of a mixed bag for me. Good elements and some not so good. I think my main issue was the characters, I could never identify or feel a kinship with *any* of them except maybe the Grandmother, and not terribly so with her. I just didn't really like them and I couldn't form an attachment. That makes it hard to get into a book when you have that problem! My favorite things, and what I feel are its strengths, included all the "book talk." Being a lover of literature and books The Bronte plot was a bit of a mixed bag for me. Good elements and some not so good. I think my main issue was the characters, I could never identify or feel a kinship with *any* of them except maybe the Grandmother, and not terribly so with her. I just didn't really like them and I couldn't form an attachment. That makes it hard to get into a book when you have that problem! My favorite things, and what I feel are its strengths, included all the "book talk." Being a lover of literature and books in general, I loved all the references to books, characters, and authors. Many that I admire. Another strength was "the trip." The places they went, the things they saw, were fun to read about and picture in my mind. I wished I was right there with them! To me, these two things made the book! Without them it would've been harder to get through. The help that goes on in the Inn redeemed the characters a little. I liked that part, too. One of the themes running through the book kind of turned me off--the idea of a bad characteristic following through the generations without them being able to help it. Now, I do believe in this in some instances but the particular one used in this book I had a hard time buying into. It irked me. The story overall felt forced at times and maybe not well explained. I like the cover art, but do think maybe the title is a little misleading. It's not so much just about the Brontes, though they are mentioned and part of the book is set where they were from. (So maybe not, but I felt it was for me.) I think that fans of Ms Reay's previous work will enjoy this. **Many thanks to NetGalley and Thomas Nelson Publishers for an advance reading copy for honest review purposes**

  6. 4 out of 5

    Karen ⊰✿

    There was not much in this novel for me to like. I found the writing unengaging as the author would tell us what happened rather than showing. This led to poor character development, poor descriptions, and confusion. I found myself in the beginning wondering if I had whole paragraphs or pages missing from my copy as she meets a guy and then suddenly they are in a comitted relationship, and a second later broken up, but apparently she still loves him.? I also struggled with the "bad" thing the MC There was not much in this novel for me to like. I found the writing unengaging as the author would tell us what happened rather than showing. This led to poor character development, poor descriptions, and confusion. I found myself in the beginning wondering if I had whole paragraphs or pages missing from my copy as she meets a guy and then suddenly they are in a comitted relationship, and a second later broken up, but apparently she still loves him.? I also struggled with the "bad" thing the MC does. I kept thinking there must be more to it, as honestly, I couldn't have cared less about the "bad" behaviour. It was stupid, but certainly didn't warrant the scorn she received from those closest to her. I also found the plot (or was it the sub plot? hard to tell) of the ex boyfriend's grandmother taking the MC to England was not believable, and her "secret" was something else blown out of proportion. I'm clearly missing something as so many reviews are positive and enjoyed the writing style and story, but it just really wasn't for me and I found it a chore to finish the book. I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Rissi

    It takes a talented pen to consistently turn out novels that speak to an avid book lover’s heart! It takes talent and genuine passion for an author to progressively grow stronger and better with each new story. Katherine Reay easily falls into the latter category with The Brontë Plot. Each of her novels (three, counting this release) is driven by literary influences and each is suffused in old-fashioned values. Basically, every book this author has penned has been a kind of ode to the novels tha It takes a talented pen to consistently turn out novels that speak to an avid book lover’s heart! It takes talent and genuine passion for an author to progressively grow stronger and better with each new story. Katherine Reay easily falls into the latter category with The Brontë Plot. Each of her novels (three, counting this release) is driven by literary influences and each is suffused in old-fashioned values. Basically, every book this author has penned has been a kind of ode to the novels that are perhaps left to the dust and forgotten among the contemporary impacts of modern fandoms. In The Brontë Plot, we journey to London with our heroine, Lucy Alling. When her methods of procuring antique items (she works in a shop owned by a sought-after interior designer) are called into question, Lucy loses the one really good and honest thing in her life: her boyfriend, James. This doesn’t stop, Helen, James grandmother, from hiring Lucy to accompany her on a trip to England. You see, Helen has secrets of her own that she’s been longing to put right for decades. After a life well-lived, Helen is dying and until she can see her past set to rights, she feels stifled. Two women undertake one journey. Both are looking for a new kind freedom that seems just beyond their grasp. What this author does so very well is integrate classic literature into each of her stories without turning them into a contemporary re-telling. Where her first two books were heavy on Austen influences, The Brontë Plot takes cues from the Brontë sisters and still works in multiple references to beloved works of literature – everything from Molly Gibson and Roger Hamley (Wives & Daughters) to the very first vampire and classic, Dracula. Introduced in-between these familiar pieces of nostalgia, there are multiple other delicacies primed to whet any avid history lovers appetite. Instead of overwhelming the contemporary story this novel has to tell (and it’s one worth sharing, which I’ll talk about later on), the literary flourishes seek only to enrich the journey. Not to be diminished or lost among the decades of past nostalgia, but the contemporary (primary) story within these pages is beautiful. Lucy is the kind of character whose questionable values will make us pause. Only because she constantly teeters on the edge of deciding what’s right vs. what’s wrong. She’s likely to become a character we might not have the warmest feelings towards, but that’s okay. Lucy, to me, is an authentic character. If for no other reason (though there are many) then she makes us think and she made me wholeheartedly cheer for her change of mind and heart. The book is about her finding herself and in some sense, growing up. James, as a love interest is a fabulous man. He’s missing for too much of the story, though, ambiguous or not, I adored how the story eventually wrapped. It was exactly as it should be, denoting a new beginning in these characters’ lives. Lest I forget, I should also mention the third-person format in The Brontë Plot. This is Katherine’s first novel that is written in such a format (her first was epistolary, second written in first-person) and I loved it. The fact that she has tackled so many brilliant presentations attests to her talent. The story is aesthetic and truly, brilliant. While The Brontë Plot is not traditional, at least not in the ordinary contemporary novel’s patterns, never fear because this is in actuality a strength well suited to this story. The beauty and uniqueness of this story are like a love letter to those scholars of classic literature. Anyone whose true love are the classics will appreciate this for all it has to offer, and those of us who admire what classic literature can inspire or teach will also be quite enchanted and enthralled with this armchair adventure. This review originally appeared on Silver Petticoat Review.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Chantel

    FROM THE BOOK Lucy Alling makes a living selling rare books, often taking suspicious measures to reach her goals. When her unorthodox methods are discovered, Lucy's secret ruins her relationship with her boss and her boyfriend James—leaving Lucy in a heap of hurt, and trouble. Something has to change; she has to change. In a sudden turn of events, James's wealthy grandmother Helen hires Lucy as a consultant for a London literary and antiques excursion. Lucy reluctantly agrees and soon discovers H FROM THE BOOK Lucy Alling makes a living selling rare books, often taking suspicious measures to reach her goals. When her unorthodox methods are discovered, Lucy's secret ruins her relationship with her boss and her boyfriend James—leaving Lucy in a heap of hurt, and trouble. Something has to change; she has to change. In a sudden turn of events, James's wealthy grandmother Helen hires Lucy as a consultant for a London literary and antiques excursion. Lucy reluctantly agrees and soon discovers Helen holds secrets of her own. In fact, Helen understands Lucy's predicament better than anyone else. As the two travel across England, Lucy benefits from Helen's wisdom, as Helen confronts the ghosts of her own past. Everything comes to a head at Haworth, home of the Brontë sisters, where Lucy is reminded of the sisters' beloved heroines, who, with tenacity and resolution, endured—even in the midst of change. Now Lucy must go back into her past in order to move forward. And while it may hold mistakes and regrets, she will prevail—if only she can step into the life that's been waiting for her all along. MY REVIEW <3 This was such a great story! Katherine Reay does a great job of creating relatable and flawed characters. I loved seeing the journey that both Helen and Lucy go on, and seeing them grow and learn from each other in the process. And there were so many great and beautifully written qoutes in this book I was hitting the highlight button left and right, lol! One of my favorite quotes was "All real lives hold controversy, trials, and mistakes, and regrets. What matters is what you do next." This book definitely worthy of adding to your library.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Heidi Robbins (Heidi Reads...)

    Katherine Reay has a lovely quality of writing. I felt like the stories from classic literature came to life as Lucy applied their quotes and lessons to the situations she found herself in. After a sweet introduction to her meeting James, I really missed the details of their romance as the time skipped quickly ahead to their break up. I would classify this more as women's fiction since the focus is on Lucy and Helen's journey of righting past wrongs and self-discovery. The conflict Lucy feels ov Katherine Reay has a lovely quality of writing. I felt like the stories from classic literature came to life as Lucy applied their quotes and lessons to the situations she found herself in. After a sweet introduction to her meeting James, I really missed the details of their romance as the time skipped quickly ahead to their break up. I would classify this more as women's fiction since the focus is on Lucy and Helen's journey of righting past wrongs and self-discovery. The conflict Lucy feels over the creative aspects of her personality that she inherited from her father which contribute to the poor choices she made really drives her character arc. I liked seeing her make the brave and hard decisions on the path to make things right and how it led her to peace and second chances. (Thank you to Thomas Nelson Publishing for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)

  10. 5 out of 5

    Carissa (Regency Woman)

    Yes, I've deleted most of my original review mostly because my opinion has improved, hence the reason I rated The Brontë Plot 5 stars instead of 4. Does anyone else find it funny that the first time I read this book was in March 2016? I mean, literally, I'm off by only a couple of days in my re-read!! Surreal and totally unplanned!! Why did I change my rating of this book? I'm currently in a different mindset than I was 4 years ago, for obvious reasons *cough*Covid-19*cough*. Right now, reading a Yes, I've deleted most of my original review mostly because my opinion has improved, hence the reason I rated The Brontë Plot 5 stars instead of 4. Does anyone else find it funny that the first time I read this book was in March 2016? I mean, literally, I'm off by only a couple of days in my re-read!! Surreal and totally unplanned!! Why did I change my rating of this book? I'm currently in a different mindset than I was 4 years ago, for obvious reasons *cough*Covid-19*cough*. Right now, reading about exciting places and the travels of others is just what I need. After reading this book again, it felt, once again, like I had just visited England. Like I had walked through Haworth and toured the home of the Brontë's and wandered the moors since they have 43 miles of walking trail specifically for that purpose! Now that I've read Wuthering Heights (a feat I hadn't yet accomplished 4 years ago) I could see the locale so vividly while reading this novel. Or that I took a detour to the Lake District to visit Bowness-on-Windermere to spend time at the Beatrix Potter museum. Literally, I vacationed sitting at home, and for a book to do that, how can I give it anything less than 5 stars? My eyes also awoke to the vibrancy of the colors listed in detail, the shapes, the textures, and the shades of antiques and vases and the sky and the moors. The glorious patterns of life as it moves and we move through it. I prefer books with descriptions of where the characters are, what they're seeing, eating, smelling, experiencing. Katherine Reay brought that side of reality out full force in this novel. Just as it happened the first time I read this story, I found Sid, Lucy's employer, to be absolutely charming. I wish he'd been in more of the story in some ways, but also understand why he couldn't be. Still, I just loved him. Dillon, their driver in England, is adorable, and Bette, the hostess for their stay in Haworth, just warmed my heart. I love how Dillon calls her pure sunshine. Her gift is to make others feel welcome, to be a hostess, to love. The faith elements are still subtle, just as with all of Ms. Reay's books. I'm still not sure I approve of making them that subtle, but I can't really argue. I'm sure her readership is wider-spread than it would be otherwise because she doesn't permeate her stories with blatant Christianity, and the quiet respect and mention given to C. S. Lewis throughout the novel warms me. I needed this novel right now and am so thankful the library had it as an e-book since everything is shut down in my town right now. I was even able to return it early for the next eager reader since there is a list of holds for it. Just like me, other readers crave exciting new vistas to take our minds off our current four walls of restriction.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kara

    I loved this! But of course I did because it's Katherine Reay. She has very quickly risen to the top of my list of favorite authors! Three books in and I have yet to be disappointed. It's her characters that do it. They sneak into my heart so subtly until suddenly there they are refusing to leave! Especially Lucy. She was on my mind for hours and hours after I finished this book. She's a little bit unlikeable in the beginning, but give her time! Because it wasn't long before I was rooting for he I loved this! But of course I did because it's Katherine Reay. She has very quickly risen to the top of my list of favorite authors! Three books in and I have yet to be disappointed. It's her characters that do it. They sneak into my heart so subtly until suddenly there they are refusing to leave! Especially Lucy. She was on my mind for hours and hours after I finished this book. She's a little bit unlikeable in the beginning, but give her time! Because it wasn't long before I was rooting for her to realize her choices weren't good ones and that she could overcome them. And then there's Helen, such heartache she's carried for so very long. The journey these two ladies take together (and separately) is hard, yet needed. They both have their own bits of hardness to conquer in themselves and they encourage each other and push each other to step carefully onward in their lives. It's not an easy road for either of them, but their questions and struggle to find themselves felt real and struck me right in the heart! All the secondary characters are lovely as well. From Sid and Dillon to Bette, they feel fully formed and add so much to the story. I could picture them going about their lives, even while not on the page. And James! I was a bit disappointed we didn't get more of him, but what we did get....and especially that ending....yes, I quite liked him very nicely. :D Ms. Reay's love of stories is as prominent as always. She interweaves bits and pieces of classics into her story and I loved catching glimpses and realizing I recognized that part! Sort of like hide and seek, there are so many treasures to be found here for the booklover. :) I also love the introspectiveness of the plot. It's not really that the characters think a lot, it's more that we are taken on a thoughtful and meandering journey and slowly watch Lucy and Helen find their true selves deep inside. The story takes its time and allows for both ladies, but Lucy most especially, to see themselves in the people, situations, and stories around them. Getting the chance to do this while journeying through England fits so perfectly! Ms. Reay wonderfully draws you around this and that scene that seemingly don't connect....at first. But soon you realize she's taken you around to where it all comes together so beautifully! If you are a lover of quiet stories filled with delightful nuggets of wisdom and comfort, I highly recommend this one! :) **I received a complimentary copy from Thomas Nelson Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

  12. 5 out of 5

    C.B. Cook

    Well, well, well. This pleasantly surprised me at the end. I'll admit that it in no way passed Dear Mr. Knightley - I'm not sure any of Katherine Reay's books will ever be able to surpass that one - but it was absolutely excellent! My second favorite out of her three books now. ;) The Good These characters were absolutely adorable. I didn't love Lucy very much, and James was okay, but Helen!!! She was probably my favorite - her or Dillon. Yes, yes, Dillon was a minor character, but I adored him, Well, well, well. This pleasantly surprised me at the end. I'll admit that it in no way passed Dear Mr. Knightley - I'm not sure any of Katherine Reay's books will ever be able to surpass that one - but it was absolutely excellent! My second favorite out of her three books now. ;) The Good These characters were absolutely adorable. I didn't love Lucy very much, and James was okay, but Helen!!! She was probably my favorite - her or Dillon. Yes, yes, Dillon was a minor character, but I adored him, and I think he was even better than James. Bette was so adorable, too. Oh gravy, no, my favorite character was Sid. Hands down. The plot, too, was intriguing. There were a ton of references to everything from William Wordsworth to Jane Austen to, of course, the Bronte sisters. The "plot" part of the title makes a lot of sense, now that I think about it. And I loved that decorating was involved! (view spoiler)[The ending was what made the book for me. Lucy's eventual honesty is something that is so precious, and this book demonstrates that, while doing the right thing might not be rewarding and might even hurt you emotionally or financially, it's still the right thing to do. I loved that! Well done, Katherine Reay! (hide spoiler)] The Bad The beginning was both too slow and too fast for me, I think. It jumped right into the middle of things, and I think that turned me off a little. Eventually that wore off, thankfully. The interesting part is that the writing style and the way the story flowed reminded me of Lucy herself, which was awesome. The Ugly Language: None Romance: Nothing beyond kissing Violence: None Other: Lying and deception A gorgeous book!!! I honestly won't forget this for a really long time. This is... dare I say it... a MASTERPIECE. :)

  13. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    So I spent a substantial amount of time writing a review for this book and my phone decided to shut off and I lost all of my review. Anyway, I will try and write another one real quick. Obviously I enjoyed this novel, the fact that I read it so quickly speaks volumes for me. I liked how Lucy sold antique books and had a genuine love for words and characters in stories. I wouldn't call this a romance, it's more of a women's literature novel. The theme is about being honest with yourself and those So I spent a substantial amount of time writing a review for this book and my phone decided to shut off and I lost all of my review. Anyway, I will try and write another one real quick. Obviously I enjoyed this novel, the fact that I read it so quickly speaks volumes for me. I liked how Lucy sold antique books and had a genuine love for words and characters in stories. I wouldn't call this a romance, it's more of a women's literature novel. The theme is about being honest with yourself and those in your life and when you do make a mistake, doing what's right to fix them. I loved the trip to England that Lucy and Helen take. I found myself googling all the sites they visited so I could see them too. While I enjoyed this novel, I did have a few gripes. My biggest gripe is that the characters all drank wine and pints of beer as a way to celebrate or because they "earned" it after a hard day of work. Now, I understand that not all readers will agree with my view, but because of the use of alcohol, it really put a distance between me and the characters. I wish Reay took the pungent tea and creamy coffee with scones and biscuits route instead. My other disappointment was the lack of "Christian" in the story. This is published by Thomas Nelson and I guess I just expected more. There were many opportunities for the characters to show redemption, grace and forgiveness by developing their relationship with God, yet the plot remained strangely quiet. All in all, I enjoyed this character driven novel. I also want to add that although I have never read most of the classics that were frequently quoted, I never felt like I couldn't connect. I think any lover of classical novels will enjoy the literary essence, quotes and details written in this book.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    2.5 stars (Average). On the whole, this book passed the time while I was on a business trip and had nothing else to do on an airplane for a few hours, but that's about the best I can say about it. As a fan and major collector of antiquarian books myself, I was eager to dive into this story! But while I enjoyed the sense of travel and revisiting through story a few British settings I have visited in person, and some of the minor characters really appealed to me, The Brontë Plot was only so-so for 2.5 stars (Average). On the whole, this book passed the time while I was on a business trip and had nothing else to do on an airplane for a few hours, but that's about the best I can say about it. As a fan and major collector of antiquarian books myself, I was eager to dive into this story! But while I enjoyed the sense of travel and revisiting through story a few British settings I have visited in person, and some of the minor characters really appealed to me, The Brontë Plot was only so-so for me. I never connected with the heroine, and therefore was never invested in her outcome. And after sticking with a story I wasn't particularly enjoying, hoping that a wonderful finale would tie everything together and help me make sense of it all, I must admit the ambiguous ending left a very sour, disappointed taste in my mouth. Perhaps it's just me failing to understand Reay's writing style, but I always felt like this book was trying to convey some heavy, altruistic life lesson but never quite got there. The character relationships and several plot points felt a bit too forced and contrived, as did the Brontë connection/metaphor, leaving me with an overall sense of "I don't get it." Fans of Christian fiction will also be disappointed to learn there is no pronounced faith thread or spiritual element to speak of in this book, which seems to have become a consistent trend in Thomas Nelson's recent releases, i.e. purposely removing the overt Christianity from Christian fiction. This book reminded me a lot of a recent Lisa Samson title from the same publisher, which I also didn't like, but this was at least a clean read, if not an altogether inspiring one.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Alyssa

    Mini Review: Rating 1.5/2 stars This was one of the most disappointing books I read this year. The story itself didn't keep me interested so I had no problem putting it down. And when I read a novel published as "Christian Fiction" I expect it to have Christian principles woven through the story, but it lacked severely in this story. How I long for the early days of Christian fiction and it's authors like, Catherine Marshall, who who proudly and boldy proclaimed Christianity in her books. That is Mini Review: Rating 1.5/2 stars This was one of the most disappointing books I read this year. The story itself didn't keep me interested so I had no problem putting it down. And when I read a novel published as "Christian Fiction" I expect it to have Christian principles woven through the story, but it lacked severely in this story. How I long for the early days of Christian fiction and it's authors like, Catherine Marshall, who who proudly and boldy proclaimed Christianity in her books. That is something I am discovering today in some parts of the CBA market, which is unfortunate because if it's just an "inspirational" story and no Jesus then how are we any different than the world? As Christians everything we do and say is ministry. WE ARE MINISTRY! In the words of Schultz, "If we don't, who will?" *END OF RANT* Not to mention the main characters got on my nerves for most of the book. I didn't connect with them and to be honest I didn't like them either. Just an all around disappointment.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Giulia

    Ok, where do I begin with this book? I have very mixed feelings about it and I'm not sure if I would give it 3 full stars. But here are my thoughts on it anyway. “All real lives hold controversy, trials, mistakes, and regrets. What matters is what you do next.” The story is quite enjoyable. Lucy is the protagonist and we follow her life when it is at a turning point. It all begins with a first chapter in which we are shown Lucy's deep love for books, especially for Wuthering Heights or another Ok, where do I begin with this book? I have very mixed feelings about it and I'm not sure if I would give it 3 full stars. But here are my thoughts on it anyway. “All real lives hold controversy, trials, mistakes, and regrets. What matters is what you do next.” The story is quite enjoyable. Lucy is the protagonist and we follow her life when it is at a turning point. It all begins with a first chapter in which we are shown Lucy's deep love for books, especially for Wuthering Heights or another one by the Bronte sister. She works in an Antiques Shop with Sid, who is both her boss and the most similar figure she has to as a father. In fact, as the story goes on we find out Lucy has a difficult time approaching thoughts about her family. Most of all thoughts about her father and grandpa are almost taking over her life. "Who were they? What did they do for a living? Am I similar to them? Is this my inheritance?" Lucy seems to receive some answers as she meets Helen. Helen is her boyfriend's grandmother, but even if she isn't in a good relationship with James anymore, Helen doesn't change her feelings about Lucy. This young girl will be the one who will help her dealing with her past. In fact, Lucy and Helen go on a trip together which will change them forever and it is going to give both of them answers about their past. A past they both have in common. “All the books have it . . . That time when you don’t know where you’ll be, but you can’t stay as you are. In life or in literature, that time rarely feels good.” I have mixed feelings about this because I didn't like Lucy a lot. She was too distant from my idea of how she should behave and, even if I did like some of her traits, I was expecting her to do things differently. I love her love for books and I even like her "negative" habits. In a few words, I didn't feel connected to her as a character. Another character I did not like at all was James. He was so.. I don't know.. cold? Arrogant? Disliking? I really hated the parts in which he talks and acts. Probably I started seeing something good in him towards the end, but I still wasn't fond of him. On the other hand, some of my favorites characters were Helen and Sid. I did like them both for different matters, but I appreciated their kindness above all of their other positive traits. They were my favorite detail in the book. About the ending. Yes, I was expecting it somehow seeing that Lucy is a lover for books. I hoped for a happy ending and I think I quite got it. I was a bit disappointed in how Lucy dealt with her "problems from the past", but it was ok I guess. An element I truly adore was her love for books, how she cured them, how she insisted they were necessary for her, I liked that. I also appreciated all the literary references made during their trip to England and all the connections the author creates between Lucy's life and various book characters as Jane Eyre, Cathy, etc. “Lucy reached in her bag and pulled out the book, knowing exactly where to search. I thank my Maker, that, in the midst of judgment, he has remembered mercy. I humbly entreat my Redeemer to give me strength to lead henceforth a purer life than I have done hitherto. There it was. Mercy. Grace. And just as she’d told James, fiction conveyed change and truth and was loved and digested again and again because it reflected the worst, the best, and all the moments in between of the human experience.” I was also pleased by their trip to England. Helen and Lucy developed together and a great time of subtle transformation. I adored all the mentions about places where some favorite books were set in and I found Bette from one of the hotels they stay at absolutely adorable, just as their driver Dillon. All in all I definitely recommend this book if you like a chick-lit novel filled with romance, books and unavoidable troubles coming from the past. NOTE. I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Staci

    An engaging story about fallible humans with a literary backdrop. In this third Reay novel, there are many literary references and this time a bit of geography tied to those references as well. It was delightful to "visit" London and other literary towns. The Bronte Plot is largely about Lucy and the mistakes she makes. To a smaller degree, Helen is part of the story line and also trying to recover from a past mistake. There is a lot to love about both of their journeys. I highly recommend this nov An engaging story about fallible humans with a literary backdrop. In this third Reay novel, there are many literary references and this time a bit of geography tied to those references as well. It was delightful to "visit" London and other literary towns. The Bronte Plot is largely about Lucy and the mistakes she makes. To a smaller degree, Helen is part of the story line and also trying to recover from a past mistake. There is a lot to love about both of their journeys. I highly recommend this novel to readers who enjoy contemporary fiction about broken people.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Hayden

    3.5 stars As anyone can tell you, I'm not a big Brontë fan, so I was a little worried that this might hinder my enjoyment of the book. However, there was much more "bookishness" to the plot besides Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre and Agnes Grey, including a healthy dose of appreciation for C.S. Lewis, Beatrix Potter, and Charles Dickens, so I didn't feel left out at all. It was definitely my favorite aspect of the book. That aside, I did feel like the writing was a little hard to follow at times, and 3.5 stars As anyone can tell you, I'm not a big Brontë fan, so I was a little worried that this might hinder my enjoyment of the book. However, there was much more "bookishness" to the plot besides Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre and Agnes Grey, including a healthy dose of appreciation for C.S. Lewis, Beatrix Potter, and Charles Dickens, so I didn't feel left out at all. It was definitely my favorite aspect of the book. That aside, I did feel like the writing was a little hard to follow at times, and jumped around oddly. My favorite character was Sid (I'm so predictable when it comes to favorite characters...) and while I didn't dislike Lucy, James or Helen, I didn't totally fall in love with them either. Though this book is by a Christian publisher, there's next to no Christian content (I believe God is mentioned briefly twice in the entire book) but I keep reading reviews from non-Christians who didn't like it for being "too Christian," which is pretty sad that people find a pretty basic Christian-based moral worldview offensive or annoying. Not that there might not be other aspects of the book worth criticizing; I'm just sad that that's one of them. However, though this book didn't always hit the right notes for me, I still liked it, and Katherine Reay continues to be one of the few writers of contemporary-set fiction that I enjoy. In comparison to the author's other books, I definitely liked The Brontë Plot a lot better than Lizzy and Jane, although not quite as much as Dear Mr. Knightley. I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Caity

    Katherine Reay knows how to blend the charm of classic literature with the sometimes-harsh realities of life into a book, and deliver it similar to the way you like your coffee. Her novels always hold something for everyone -yours for the taking- and never fail to draw readers in with the "cozy fireside, blanket, and whistling-wind" of her style. Katherine's characters are real and relatable and you can't help but get attached to them and their lives. The Bronte Plot is a gentle, nostalgic, treas Katherine Reay knows how to blend the charm of classic literature with the sometimes-harsh realities of life into a book, and deliver it similar to the way you like your coffee. Her novels always hold something for everyone -yours for the taking- and never fail to draw readers in with the "cozy fireside, blanket, and whistling-wind" of her style. Katherine's characters are real and relatable and you can't help but get attached to them and their lives. The Bronte Plot is a gentle, nostalgic, treasure of a story, full of true life, love, and emotions with a healthy dose of adventure and discovery. "Come further up, come further in," and enjoy this heartwarming journey of facing the past to make way for the future.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sheila Holmes

    Perhaps I shouldn't have read four of this author's novels right in a row. I'm tiring of the stories and seem to be finding fault. I know that the stories are based in a heavy serving of Bronte, Austen, etc. titles and characters at various places, but since I have not read all the referenced authors' works, I was a little lost when I came to them. Secondly, I am finding that I had difficulty wading through the detail minutia. In the last fifty pages, I skim read to the end, just slowing for the s Perhaps I shouldn't have read four of this author's novels right in a row. I'm tiring of the stories and seem to be finding fault. I know that the stories are based in a heavy serving of Bronte, Austen, etc. titles and characters at various places, but since I have not read all the referenced authors' works, I was a little lost when I came to them. Secondly, I am finding that I had difficulty wading through the detail minutia. In the last fifty pages, I skim read to the end, just slowing for the substantial plot necessities. I don't know if any other readers have experienced the same thing, or if it's just a "me" thing. However, I enjoyed the overall story. Thinking maybe I'll take a break before tackling The Austen Escape. We'll see... Not sure if I would recommend this work or not. A little uncertain.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Iola

    Lucy Alling works runs the showroom/antique store of Sid McKenna, a well-known Chicago interior designer. She’s also in charge of the books, and that’s how she meets James Carmichael and finds a kindred soul. Almost … The Bronte Plot is definitely aimed at those who love classic English literature, with an emphasis on the female authors: Austen, the Bronte sisters, Gaskell. I have to say that while I’ve read them all, I’m not as much of a Bronte fan as Lucy (or, I guess, the author), and I did f Lucy Alling works runs the showroom/antique store of Sid McKenna, a well-known Chicago interior designer. She’s also in charge of the books, and that’s how she meets James Carmichael and finds a kindred soul. Almost … The Bronte Plot is definitely aimed at those who love classic English literature, with an emphasis on the female authors: Austen, the Bronte sisters, Gaskell. I have to say that while I’ve read them all, I’m not as much of a Bronte fan as Lucy (or, I guess, the author), and I did find the continual literary quotes and allusions got tiring. I felt as though I’d have gotten more out of The Bronte Plot if I’d have read the complete works of the three Bronte sisters before reading The Bronte Plot, as though I was missing out on something (kind of like when you pick up the fourth book in a series and the author assumes you’ve read and memorised the first three, so doesn’t introduce any of the characters because they assume you know their life history). The result was I found the first three-quarters of the novel less than captivating, even though some of the writing was outstanding and insightful. This could be because Reay’s last novel was one of the best novels I read last year, and I was expecting something similar. The last quarter of The Bronte Plot was excellent, and the whole story had a strong theme around truth, and I liked the way Reay approached that … even if the theme was occasionally a little heavy-handed, and made it feel as though Lucy was a less-than-reliable narrator. On the other hand, people do lie to themselves (surely one piece of chocolate cake won’t hurt my diet), so I guess that made Lucy ‘normal’. If there is such a thing. But there were flashes of brilliance in the writing, such as these quotes: “ There is no greater mistake than giving a client what she thinks she wants rather than something reflective of who she is.” “Reading forms your opinions, your world view, especially childhood reading, and anything that does that has an impact.” (Why it’s so important to read books with good messages … and why Lucy’s character doesn’t entirely make sense). Lucy also has one revelation which will appeal to many of us: one character says he has “figured out how to make my passions pay.” I wish! My other comment about The Bronte Plot is that I don’t see it as Christian fiction. Sure, Lucy and James don’t sleep together, but nor is there any suggestion either of them (or any other characters) are people of faith (although it’s pretty obvious the author is writing from a Christian world view). I would have liked to have seen more Christian aspects, although I guess that isn’t Reay’s style, and a Christian character who continually stretches the truth might have been a stretch to write believably and a stretch to read. As one character says: “We’re all wired to crave and worship something.” As Christians, we believe that ‘something’ is God, and we watch as people around us behave like some of the characters in this novel: chasing and craving and worshipping the wrong things. Not God. Recommended to Bronte fans. Note: there were a handful of errors in the London scenes which hopefully will have been fixed before publication. Covenant Garden? Oops. Thanks to NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Andrea Cox

    by Andrea Renee Cox My favorite aspects of this book were Helen and Sid. They were truly the only characters I enjoyed from start to finish. I loved the interior design/decorating portion of the story. The road trip and tourism parts were fun, and at times I felt like I was right there with Lucy and Helen. The book-selling and artwork were fun, and I like how those things were wrapped up in Lucy's issues. It's when books take some of my favorite things and make them gritty and raw that I feel int by Andrea Renee Cox My favorite aspects of this book were Helen and Sid. They were truly the only characters I enjoyed from start to finish. I loved the interior design/decorating portion of the story. The road trip and tourism parts were fun, and at times I felt like I was right there with Lucy and Helen. The book-selling and artwork were fun, and I like how those things were wrapped up in Lucy's issues. It's when books take some of my favorite things and make them gritty and raw that I feel intrigued and glued to the page. I struggled with a few things in this book, though. When I first met Dillon, I thought he was flirting with Lucy. A little while later, though, he was fawning all over Bette. This made him come off as a playboy type, which was unattractive to me. I never felt right rooting for Lucy. It was clear from the beginning that she was a con artist, but even when she started feeling convicted about it, she continued conniving her way into or out of situations rather than attempting to be honest. It was like she was saying, "I want to be honest and good," but then two seconds later, she would lie and wheedle her way through life. Throughout the entire story, I wasn't sure I could trust her, which made me wonder why I should invest my emotions into her. Because of that, I wasn't as invested in this book as Ms. Reay's Dear Mr. Knightley, Lizzy and Jane, and The Austen Escape -- all of which I've adored. James. How do I explain him? Inconsistent, for one thing. Controlling, for another. Right when I thought I saw a glimmer to enjoy, he'd turn around and get all bossy again. He almost seemed as manipulative as Lucy, in certain scenes, just in an "I know right... and you don't" kind of way. That isn't appealing to me. As with Ms. Reay's other books, I found too much alcoholic content. In this book, it seemed like every tiny victory was celebrated by grabbing a martini or some champagne or a beer. Are these people drunks? They sure took every opportunity to imbibe. It seemed odd to me, and I was uncomfortable with it. I do not condone or support that type of behavior in any way. Yes, I know a lot of people out in the world take a drink now and then (with or without getting drunk). I also know plenty of people who never drink alcoholic beverages, myself included. To me, these seem to be happy, joyous folks who appreciate life and family and friends, finding satisfaction in those things and people rather than alcohol. I gave this book three stars rather than two, because I'm hopeful that I'll like it better once I read it again in a different time in my life. Maybe then I'll be able to connect with it better. Circumstances and perspective can change how I perceive books, and I know feelings and experience play a part in it as well. There were many chapters and scenes I enjoyed this time around, so that balanced things out a bit. I was not compensated for my honest review.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    3.5 stars Overall it’s a solid story, and I loved the parts with Lucy and Helen. However, James felt really flat to me, as did most of the other side characters, so I ended up not feeling as absorbed in the story as I prefer to be. Of course, it might have just been because I read it after a solid five-star read with very colorful characters, so I’m rounding up instead of down. Content: some moderate drinking

  24. 5 out of 5

    Janet Reeves

    Just having finished The Brontë Plot by Katherine Reay, I’m now ready to travel to England to visit all the fun places her characters saw. But first I want to read or reread all the books by the Brontë sisters, Jane Austin, Beatrix Potter, and others that were mentioned in the book. Fans of British Lit will love reading The Brontë Plot. Aside from being immersed in references to the classics, readers will enjoy a touching story. From a psychological standpoint, the theme is identifying and overco Just having finished The Brontë Plot by Katherine Reay, I’m now ready to travel to England to visit all the fun places her characters saw. But first I want to read or reread all the books by the Brontë sisters, Jane Austin, Beatrix Potter, and others that were mentioned in the book. Fans of British Lit will love reading The Brontë Plot. Aside from being immersed in references to the classics, readers will enjoy a touching story. From a psychological standpoint, the theme is identifying and overcoming generational sin, and Reay handles it beautifully! Lucy Alling sells rare books. She loves them and wants her clients to love them, too. Her motives are pure. When it comes to her attention, though, that her methods might be questionable, she finds herself, with some unexpected assistance from her ex-boyfriend’s grandmother, on a painful quest to make peace with her past and examine the state of her soul. Has her character been determined by forces not within her control or can she make decisions that will change her fate? All of her favorite authors are there, along with friends, new and old, to help her discover the truth. I loved reading this third book by Katherine Reay and will be watching for her fourth. Her style is different, the pace of her books slow, relaxing, contemplative. Every character is deep. The Brontë Plot is a treat! I thank Thomas Nelson Publishers for sending me a complimentary copy in exchange for this honest review.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Melanie

    3.5 stars The Bronte Plot is the third book I've read by Katherine Reay and while I didn't love it like her previous two books, it was still enjoyable and written very well. But, I just a never connected to Lucy, the main character, and I didn't like the romance and how we didn't get to really see that develop in much detail (right after the characters meet in the beginning, the story skips ahead and then the romance isn't really a factor until much later). I did really like the location and how 3.5 stars The Bronte Plot is the third book I've read by Katherine Reay and while I didn't love it like her previous two books, it was still enjoyable and written very well. But, I just a never connected to Lucy, the main character, and I didn't like the romance and how we didn't get to really see that develop in much detail (right after the characters meet in the beginning, the story skips ahead and then the romance isn't really a factor until much later). I did really like the location and how we got to be a tourist with Lucy and experience the places she went with her. That was fun! All in all, I enjoyed The Bronte Plot. It was a fun, quick read. *I received a complimentary ebook copy via NetGalley for my honest review. As always, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.*

  26. 5 out of 5

    Pia

    Nice, cozy book. Lucy Alling works in a gallery/decorating shop. When she meets James, a wealthy lawyer, it would seem we are looking at a very conventional romance, but Lucy has a serious problem: She will lie, cheat and even forge to make the people she loves happy. We learn that both her father and her grandfather were quite dishonest, but Lucy does realize she has a big problem. When her lies makes her lose both her relationship and her beloved work, she knows she has to make drastic changes. T Nice, cozy book. Lucy Alling works in a gallery/decorating shop. When she meets James, a wealthy lawyer, it would seem we are looking at a very conventional romance, but Lucy has a serious problem: She will lie, cheat and even forge to make the people she loves happy. We learn that both her father and her grandfather were quite dishonest, but Lucy does realize she has a big problem. When her lies makes her lose both her relationship and her beloved work, she knows she has to make drastic changes. Though quite enjoyable as a whole, I found the "touristy" parts of the book distracting and long. Too much description of London and the Lake District. Maybe I've had too much of the Brontë theme? I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Pamela

    What I did like about this book was the trip that Lucy and Helen took. I wanted to be there with them as they wandered around London and Haworth. I also enjoyed all the talk about favorite books. But overall for me, the plot was a little weak. Lucy was not a strong or interesting lead so it was hard to get attached or feel anything for her. The prose was ok so I do think I would give this author another try. This is the first time I have read anything by her. **Thank you to the publisher and Net What I did like about this book was the trip that Lucy and Helen took. I wanted to be there with them as they wandered around London and Haworth. I also enjoyed all the talk about favorite books. But overall for me, the plot was a little weak. Lucy was not a strong or interesting lead so it was hard to get attached or feel anything for her. The prose was ok so I do think I would give this author another try. This is the first time I have read anything by her. **Thank you to the publisher and Net Galley in exchange of an honest review.**

  28. 4 out of 5

    Peggy

    NOTE: Received as an ARC from Netgalley. Charming book lovers' chicklit with very subtle faith elements. I liked the idea of a flawed heroine with a secret to keep (although it also made her more difficult for me to like). I'd never heard of fore-edge paintings on books before and found that fascinating. I’d love to find one in real life (though perhaps with the inscription!)

  29. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    I picked this up from the library as a mindless read with perhaps some potential of intrigue. I was right about the mindless part, but the intrigue was lacking. It was your normal run of the mill romance book, following the usual formula. Boy, girl, love, strife, life adventure, awakening and love again. The characters were just this side of snobby and uptight with limited depth.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Catie

    This was such a cute book! I originally received an ARC from Netgalley for an honest review. But, the eBook that was sent wasn't formatted correctly so it was too difficult to read. When I saw THE BRONTË PLOT at the library. I had to grab it! I've been really looking forward to this book, since the Brontë's are some of my favorite authors and I love the time period in which these authors lived. The story revolves around the main character Lucy Alling, who is a rare book seller and works for an a This was such a cute book! I originally received an ARC from Netgalley for an honest review. But, the eBook that was sent wasn't formatted correctly so it was too difficult to read. When I saw THE BRONTË PLOT at the library. I had to grab it! I've been really looking forward to this book, since the Brontë's are some of my favorite authors and I love the time period in which these authors lived. The story revolves around the main character Lucy Alling, who is a rare book seller and works for an antiques dealer/ high end interior decorator. Lucy is obsessed with English authors like The Brontë's and acquires and sells rare books that she loves. When a handsome stranger buys two of her favorites for family members and then proceeds to confess that his attraction towards her is the main reason for his purchases. You automatically think this is going to be the typical falling in love, living happily ever after story, but there's more to this book and its story. Lucy Alling's moral compass at times doesn't point true North and this quickly causes issues, ending in her break up with James and her questioning not only herself but her father and grandfather who she recently has come to find out, also used suspicious measures in their line of work. Even through all of this I quickly came to like Lucy and was moved by her story and ultimately her journey both physically and mentally to become the woman she is meant to be. When Lucy accepts a job as a consultant to her ex boyfriends grandmother, to travel to London with her, the Anglophile in me was shouting for joy as they planned their trip around highlights in London and Northern England. In particular Haworth, home to the Brontë sisters and to the Lake District. I loved how the author tied in so many of my favorite authors and writers; The Brontë's, Elizabeth Gaskell, T. S. Eliot, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Henry James, Tennyson, Browning, and Caroll just to name a few. This was definitely a book for book lover's and I reveled in anything that came up about literature, history and the lives of the authors mentioned in the book. I especially loved the trip planning that Lucy organized for her and Helen. It made me long to be back in the UK visiting the rectory, the moors where Cathy and Heathcliffe roamed and the streets of London. I also loved the romance between Dillon; Helen and Lucy's driver whilst on their trip and Bette the inn keeper at Haworth. The re-decorating of the inn while Helen and Lucy stay there was so much fun to read about as well as the love blossoming between some of the characters. Ultimately, this was a fun read which incorporated many of the themes present in the Brontë's books and plots. Moments of defeat and failure, questioning oneself, redemption and ultimately the ability to overcome obstacles so true love can prevail. I look forward to reading more from this author. Favorite Quotes: "Lucy closed her eyes and absorbed the shop’s scents. Underneath the jasmine, she caught the tang of the polish that she applied to the furniture every other day, buffing each piece until it felt velvety and gleamed. She also caught the musty scent of ink on paper within the books stacked for sale, on their sides so as not to warp their fragile spines. And dancing beneath it all, she caught a hint of fresh pine from her favorite organic floor cleaner, the one she found at a one-man shop in Vermont." “Welcome home,” she whispered. She held it to her nose and inhaled the leather, dust, ink, and history in a single whiff before placing it on its side atop two others. “All the sisters, together. Again.” "I mean that reading forms your opinions, your worldview, especially childhood reading, and anything that does that has an impact. So call them friends, call some stories enemies if you want, but don’t deny their influence.” She popped up straight. “You learn drama from the Brontës; sense from Austen; social justice from Dickens; beauty from Wordsworth, Keats and Byron; patience and perseverance from Gaskell; and don’t even get me started on exercising your imagination with Caroll, Doyle, Wells, Wilde, Stoker—” “I don’t have many, if any, adventures left within me and I want this one. It feels right, and you need to be there.” She sat back in the small sofa and crossed her ankles. “Meeting you has stirred up so many memories, some wonderful, some I’d rather left buried, but they’re out now and they need to be dealt with. They’ve reminded me of someone I once was and I’d like to meet her again before I die. She’s worth finding again, Lucy, and I can’t do that here and I can’t do that with my family, not yet.” "As Lucy pushed open the door of the Bloomsbury Coffee House, a rich warmth enveloped them. Smells of earthy coffee overlay sugar, yeast, and the sharp tang of sourdough. She ordered a slice of carrot cake with a rich cream cheese frosting and watched as Helen coated her toasted sourdough with bright homemade jam." “I imagined the moors were like this. Wild and wintery out of the sun. In all the books, there’s always a fire burning.” Helen snuggled deeper into her seat." "After indulging in a few passages, she dug into her suitcase for leggings, a deep brown tunic sweater, and patent leather walking loafers. This was not a day for skirts, ballet flats, or heeled boots. This was a day for soft wool, warm socks, loafers, and literature. She pulled her hair into a high ponytail and skipped down the stairs to find Bette at the desk at the bottom." "Lucy spent the night tossing and turning and regretting L her poor reading choice. She had thought it a delectable idea to read Dracula within her heavily curtained bed, the wind whistling in the windows. But hours later, as she jumped at every creak and clink, and was sure she caught a whiff of death and decay seeping under her door, she knew she’d been wrong." "Even if the relationship ends, some are that defining. Don’t you believe in soul mates? Love at first sight.” She watched James ponder the question over one fry, two fries . . . “One person you’re destined to meet and love? No.” Lucy leaned back in her chair and let her fantasies go. Cathy slipped away from the window. Heathcliff called in vain. Jane stepped away from the tree and Rochester paid her passage to Ireland, perhaps he even married Blanche Ingram. Dillon and Bette drifted apart as he returned to London, deciding that she was one of and not the one, and Bette struggled alone at the inn. And James still walked away from the gallery that last evening and, even though he was right here, right now—he never returned." "Lucy was right back where she started. She couldn’t escape into fiction because that’s what the Brontës did best—convey truth within their stories. They pushed characters through choice and change, making them pay the consequences for bad decisions and only giving them that elusive happy ending when they got it right and rose from the crucible cleansed, strong, and whole. They spared nothing. The crucible was hot. It was death for some. Enduring great cruelty for others. Fire for one. Illness for many. And Lucy found it. A character that made sense; a journey with enough profundity to grasp. Edward Fairfax Rochester. She’d pushed away comparisons to James. That wasn’t his story—it was hers. Rochester couldn’t move, could never move, forward because he hadn’t gone back. He hadn’t laid down his sin and accepted that there was an absolute right. But he found it. He ran across the ramparts. He reached for Bertha, accepting all that he was and all he had been, and he paid with his eye, with his hand, and with his heart. And to show her approval, her seal upon his life and choices, Charlotte had given him the glorious ending."

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